They just walked through my door - honest! September acquisitions, Part the Third

Part the third of my new resolution to keep track of all things literary that make their way into my personal library!
In which the Mooch avalanche roars unabated,
and I make the very grave error of entering a bookstore.


Mooch Acquisitions:
  • Donald Duk by Frank Chin
    • I am not entirely sure where I heard about this book, or what created such a mammoth desire in me to own it, but it looks potentially delightful. From the description on the back, it seems to have much in common with the acclaimed by others but not entirely loved by me American Born Chinese. The unfortunately named Donald Duk, a twelve-year-old San Franciscan, comes to terms with his resentment of his Chinese family and heritage through dream conversations with an imaginary mentor, Fred Astaire.
  • Crusader's Cross by James Lee Burke
    • The first of the Dave Robicheaux mystery series, set in the Louisiana Bayou. As you might remember, I became fascinated with James Lee Burke after reading a series of interviews relating to the influence of Hurricane Katrina on his latest book.
  • Jazz by Toni Morrison
    • I have read Beloved, the first in a trilogy of novels in which Morrison is said to evoke the structure of Dante's Divine Comedy, and I own Paradise (which, as you might gather, is the third). Now, at long last (I have been putting off Paradise for several years - take that statement as you will), I have the Purgatorio section: Jazz.
  • Tamora Pierce's First Test
    • I LOVED Pierce's Alanna series when I was in middle school. I mean, I loved it with a passion for a fictional world that I fear I lost in the cynicism of my high school and adult selves. I wanted to BE Alanna, the woman knight. My fondest dream was that someone would make a movie of the series, and cast me as the heroine. Now I am afraid to return to it in case my cynical self is disappointed with it. Pierce has written prolifically beyond Alanna's "Song of the Lioness" series, while staying in the same fictional world. So perhaps I will try out less emotional frought reading territory by exploring some of her other characters. This is the first in her Protector of the Small series.
  • If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name by Heather Lende
    • An account of life in small-town Alaska by a Morning Edition contributor, I can chalk this one up to the zeal for quirky non-fiction that was born of my early love for Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals.
  • The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
    • Although I didn't enjoy Pratchett's first Discworld novel (The Color of Magic) as much as I had hoped, I have been anticipating the arrival of this, the second in the series, with an unsettling degree of excitement. Everything about this series, it would seem, has become associated for me with an impossible ideal of fun and relaxation in reading. So I might not be able to keep from skipping it in front of some of the more serious reads in my TBR queue.
  • Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
    • Advertised as a reinvention of the "Great War epic," which, given my current, intensive relationship with the Iliad, intrigues me immensely. At its heart this novel is apparently about the relationship between an Oji-Cree medicine woman from Ontario and her only surviving relative, who has just come back from a scarring time in the European trenches.
  • Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
    • I already own a much later volume from Maupin's "Tales of the City" cycle, but have been (I'm sure you understand) reluctant to start it before reading the earlier books. Why did I buy a book from the end of the series, you ask? Well, I think my book buying compulsion has become painfully obvious to readers of my blog in recent weeks. I have a particular interest in Maupin's work, because, like me, he had formative experiences living in DC and North Carolina, and went to UNC. Unlike me, however, he was mentored by Jesse Helms, although this mentorship did not continue into Maupin's time in gay rights activism. I can't say I really envy him the Helmsish aspect of his biography.
Bought:
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
    • Although the Herriot-inspired words "It's the sheep! They won't stop wommiting!" have been bandied about in my family since time immemorial, I have never read anything from this series or seen any part of the famous television adaptation about the adventures of a British veterinarian. And now I hang my head in shame. For some odd reason, my library includes All Things Wise and Wonderful, but not this, the first omnibus of three in the series. Apparently "wacky out-of-order series acquisition" is the theme of today's post.
  • The World since 1945: A Concise History by Keith Robbins
    • I am determined to beef up my contemporary history chops, since this is in fact the period of theatre I study. And those crazy playwrights just insist on reflecting on current events, curse 'em!
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
    • A hardcover Everyman's Library edition of a novel I did not enjoy to replace the wee battered paperback version I read in college. Does that make any sense as an acquisition? I can only explain it with the feeling that it is SO classic that perhaps some day I will come to see its genius. Ah, the snobbery of the literary canon at work!
  • A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong
    • I find the Canongate Myths series, of which this is the first volume, to be a witty, ambitious idea, although I didn't particularly enjoy the first installment that I read (Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad). I have been lurking about, waiting for a cheap copy of Armstrong's introduction (which was apparently the largest simultaneous publication in history, appearing in 33 countries on a single day) to show up, and here at last I found one.
  • Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey edited by Karen Wilkin
    • Recommended by J.; I do love Gorey!
  • The Little Disturbances of Man by Grace Paley
    • I have never read any of Paley's work, and this is one of those sad cases where the news of her recent death (in August) brought this oversight imperatively to my attention.
  • A Brief History of the Smile by Angus Trumble
    • A whimsical purchase, but I can rarely resist these strange specialist histories. And, as you can see, I have quite the weakness for books that describe themselves as "short," "concise," or "brief" histories.
  • Stigma by Erving Goffman
    • I need to read this for work, and it is always recalled from me when I get it from the library. So how could I NOT buy a copy (albeit a very marked up one) for $1.50??
  • The Unmasking of Drama: Contested Representation in Shakespeare's Tragedies by Jonathan Baldo
    • Another research related purchase.
  • The Columbia History of the Twentieth Century ed. by Richard W. Bulliet
    • Not as delightfully concise as I apparently like my history, but still a seductively useful looking tome.

7 Responses so far.

  1. I have to admit - I always enjoyed reading about how people came to buy/acquire their books. The circumstances behind book acquisitions are often revealing of how irrational we are. ;p

    Grace Paley's death is also nudging me towards her books. Death of the Author should not be the reason we read their books, surely?

  2. Eva says:

    That Canongate series sounds interesting!

    Like Dark Orpheus, I enjoy the thought process behind book acquisitions. I'll have to make a point to include the 'why' in my acquisitin posts. :)

  3. I love the Herriot stories. That's comfort reading for me. Every time I see a title though, I emd up humming the hymn for days:

    "All things bright and beautiful
    All creatures great and small
    All things wise and wonderful
    The Lord God made them all."

    And now I will hum it all day tomorrow.

  4. I am glad that you are all enjoying my tales of book acquisition! I have to say I feel a bit abashed by how MANY books have come into my library so far this month, especially when I consider how few books I have actually read in September. Yikes. But this is not a characteristic book-acquisition month (particularly due to the renewed activity of BookMooch), I will say by way of excuse. :)

  5. kookiejar says:

    I've actually read "Donald Duk", I was not as charmed as I'd hoped I would be, but it was okay.

  6. Framed says:

    I wish some of these books would walk through my door. I look forward to reading your reviews.

  7. I will let you know how I find "Donald Duk" when I finally get around to reading it, kookiejar!

    And I hope that I someday get down to reading and reviewing some of these books, framed...

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